Why NPR won’t give air time to the Occupy Wall Street protests in lower Manhattan.
No crowds, celebrities, mayhem or soundbite-able demands? No coverage for you.
From the NPR ombudsman’s blog:
NPR hasn’t aired a story on the “Occupy Wall Street” protest — now entering its second week — but several of you aired your concerns about the lack of coverage, and Ralph Nader called to say NPR is ignoring the left.. We asked the newsroom to explain their editorial decision. Executive editor for news Dick Meyer came back: “The recent protests on Wall Street did not involve large numbers of people, prominent people, a great disruption or an especially clear objective.”
Well, at least we have an answer about priorities at NPR that people can argue with. That’s good. That’s transparency.
Prominent people, huh? As opposed to young people giving up their lives to sleep outside in rain, filth and noise and perhaps get maced to make a political statement about accountability on Wall Street…
Disruption? And that differs from an invitation to mayhem how… exactly?
Dick Meyer’s statement should be a widget. Meaning: NPR should keep a rolling list of candidate-for-coverage stories that it is not covering with a clear explanation for why it is not covering them, and then place it around npr.org as a sidebar.
UPDATE: NPR caves! Or maybe it’s more accurate to say they changed their mind.
Photo by David Shankbone, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0